Mangaluru: The Citizens Forum held a condolence meet for Dr M M Kalburgi in front of the Town Hall here, on September 1.
Addressing the gathering, social activist Dr Siddana Gowda Patil said that a renowned scholar Dr M M Kalburgi was shot dead on August 30 at his residence. He further said that Kalburgi had come under criticism from the past 25 years from the Lingayat community for commenting on Channabasava’s birth. “His house was attacked 15 years ago and all of us protected his house. He had even faced death threats previously. Last year also he spoke about idolatry in Hinduism in support of a Kannada writer U R Anantha Murthy but communalists misinterpreted his comment. Being a researcher, he was speaking the truth and he was questioning superstitious beliefs.”
He further said that last year, when he was addressing a seminar on the Anti Supersition Bill, Kalburgi recalled the book “Bethale Puje Yake Kudadu” and spoke in support of writer UR Ananthamurthy, who had shared that as a child he had urinated on idols thus provoking the anger of some right-wing Hindu groups. “Kalburgi had never said to urinate on the idols, but the Sangh Parivar protested against the statement.. In Karnataka, we heard of only attacks but this is the first time that an Indian scholar was assassinated. They can kill a person but they cannot kill the ideas and beliefs of Kalburgi,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Sathyanarayan Mallipatna said that normally a condolence meet is held inside four walls but the condolence meet of Kalburgi was held in an open space. “Dr Kalburgi’s death has shocked all of us because he did not die a natural death, it was a cold blooded murder. Dr Kalburgi was not against anyone or any religion; he was only expressing his opinion on the research he was doing. He was only against superstitious beliefs. He did not have any enmity with anyone. He was very broadminded and always spoke the truth.” Mallipatna demanded a thorough investigation on Dr Kalburgi’s killing.
Activists P B D’Sa, Narendra Nayak, Suresh Bhat and others also spoke on the occasion.